The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


How are factor analyses used in the study of love?

Is love one entity or is it made up of many different parts? One way to explore the structure of love is through factor analysis. This is an important statistical technique that shows how different items group together. It is used to investigate if a single idea is made up of separate sub-categories. Researchers create questionnaires based on a series of items, words, or scenarios related to love. They then ask research participants to rate their love relationships using these questionnaires. Through factor analyses, researchers can then identify clusters of items that intercorrelate (or group together). Do people who score high on item 1 also score high on items 2, 3, and 4? These clusters, or factors, can then be labeled as components of love.


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